Interstate 70 rest stops between Columbia and St. Louis closed

Friday, June 24, 2011 | 5:44 p.m. CDT; updated 3:57 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 19, 2011

COLUMBIA — One of the rest areas along Interstate 70 between Columbia and St. Louis is closed. The others will no longer be accessible to commuters, travelers and families.

The Wright City rest areas along both sides of I-70 closed June 9.


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Although work to replace plumbing and piping fixtures at Wright City was scheduled to be completed Friday, special parts had to be ordered, Marisa Brown-Ellison, community relations manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation's Northeast District, said. It will be ready to handle traffic on or before July 1.

The Mineola rest areas, near Graham Cave State Park, are in the process of being converted to truck-only parking.

The conversion process began the the day after Memorial Day, Brown-Ellison said.

The conversion stems from consistent sewer problems, she said. A lagoon system was installed because there was no public utilities system in proximity to the rest area.

"Continuing to keep it in environmental compliance is not cost effective," Brown-Ellison said.

By limiting the traffic to truck drivers, it will be easier to meet the Department of Natural Resources standards for waste disposal, Brown-Ellison said.

Brown-Ellison said MoDOT looked at several options before decided to change the rest area to truck-only parking.

She said there is a need for more truck parking along the interstate, and there has been a push from the trucking community.

Conversions at the Mineola rest areas will be complete by the end of this year, Brown-Ellison said.

Work to be completed includes demolishing the visitor buildings, installing vault toilets and adding 17 truck parking spots.

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Robin Nuttall June 25, 2011 | 1:39 p.m.

Hmmmm. It's June 24 and you're just reporting on this NOW?

I, for one, would have been glad to know about it before I made my car trips to St. Louis both Saturday and Sunday last weekend.

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